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July 31, 2003

Reformed Egyptian, revised version
Posted by Teresa at 11:23 PM *

It is with grave delight that I inform you that an Eritrean Christian visionary named Embaye Melekin has swallowed the Book of Mormon whole, and after duly digesting and considering the matter has received a revelation:

The Book of Mormon or the Abyssinian Book, was translated from its original Sabean scripts by a white prophet named, Joseph Smith, who founded the Mormon Church or, as it is called today, Church of the Latter-Day Saints (LDS). As I unravel the true version of the book, it shall be seen later, that the Prophet Joseph Smith was not expected to know the true meaning of the records of our forefathers he translated. As a result, the records of our forefathers prophesied that he, Joseph Smith, and his church, shall follow the doctrines and distortions of the “Abominable Church” and shall fail to realize the true meaning of the book he was prophesied to interpret. Instead, I, Embaye Melekin, was chosen to do so, and possess the true knowledge and spirit, and to bring the book to its authentic owners, the Eritrean and African people in general.
I suspect Melekin’s reading owes a lot to 1 Nephi 1:2, the second verse in the BoM, where Nephi says:
Yea, I make a record in the language of my father, which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians.
To Embaye Melekin, the import of this statement is clear: Nephi (or “Nebyi”) must have been writing in Sabaean. And I must admit, Sabaean does sort of fit the description. Thus is borne out yet again the truth of the central revelation brought forth in this dispensation by Plan Ten from Outer Space: “Just because it’s made up, doesn’t mean it isn’t true.” But back to Melekin’s own revelation:
In light of the above explanations, one could understand why the Prophet Joseph Smith described the two major factions that evolved from Leyi’s children, as whites and blacks. According to his limited understanding, he, Joseph Smith, concluded that the whites were the Europeans and the blacks referred to in the Book of Mormon, he considered to be the Native American Indians. According to his understandings, the whites that were cursed by the Almighty God, became darker and thus, the relatively darker complexions of the Native American Indians. …Joseph Smith couldn’t have remotely imagined, at that time, that the Negro slaves could be the authentic owners of the Holy Book he was translating. In all honesty, no one could blame him for not thinking so. Besides, the Lord did not intend him to link the Book of Mormon to the African people. Indeed, and according to the prophecies documented in the records of our forefathers, one of the offspring of the African people was delegated to reveal the true meaning of the book to its true owners, the Africans themselves. The records of our forefathers were prophesied to return to us, after they were interpreted and misunderstood by the white people (Gentiles), and through the revelation of God, and by one of our offsprings. I am therefore, honored by the Creator of heaven and earth and His blessed Son, Jesus Christ, to accomplish the prophesied task. I am gifted to reveal the true meaning of the records of our forefathers, and to make it plain and simple for the understanding of the remnants of the house of Israel, the Africans and our descendants, throughout the world. …
Which is exactly what he has done, or is trying to do. For example, here’s his version of the Book of Ether, which has some interesting departures from the original.

Melekin is a strong misprizer and reshaper. He grabs the whole story, re-imagines it to suit his own purposes, wrenches it into a new shape, and overwrites it with his own meanings and interpretations. That is to say: as a creator, he’s more like Joseph Smith than anyone the LDS church has ever recognized as one of Joseph’s legitimate successors. (via )

Comments on Reformed Egyptian, revised version:
#1 ::: Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 03:22 AM:

Next: A pair of Eritreans in white polyester shirts and skinny ties show up at the door...

#2 ::: Stefanie Murray ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 03:46 AM:

Gotta wonder how long it'll take for Jello to replace buddeena.

#3 ::: Jeff Crook ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 09:50 AM:

Every aspiring prophet should be required to consume the text he proposes to interpret. What a marvelous precedent he has set. I'll be unable to respect future prophets unless they have eaten at least one holy book.

Order for Jerry Falwell - one King James with extra butter and sour cream.

#4 ::: Kim ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 10:32 AM:

This is only marginally related:

http://rumandmonkey.com/widgets/toys/mormon/

I've been lurking for a while (found your blog through Nancy) but never felt like I had much to contribute. I guess I still don't, but I thought you might get a kick out of this link. :)

#5 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 11:32 AM:

That is to say: as a creator, he92s more like Joseph Smith than anyone the LDS church has ever recognized as one of Joseph92s legitimate successors.

------

Hear, hear. Everyone since Joe and Brigham seem to have been playing the role of political spin doctor.

You know, even when I was a wee tyke and attending church every day, I could never figure out why all the adults were so enamoured of the idea that Joseph couldn't possibly have written the BoM being that he was an "uneducated boy of 14". (Which is erroneous anyway, because he didn't "get" and "translate" the BoM until many years later.) I mean, I was making up worlds and drawing maps of my future planets before I hit puberty, and charting out histories of families and making huge improbably family trees for thirty generations. If I could do it, Joe probably could.

#6 ::: Eloise (Beltz-Decker) Mason ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 11:34 AM:

According to Kim's link, if I were born Mormon I'd be 'D'Elise Mayson'. :->

#7 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 12:30 PM:

"The Book of Ether"

Oh, the possibilities.

#8 ::: Derryl Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 12:47 PM:

Black priests! Once again, the FLDS folks will be beside themselves. Teresa, have you read Under the Banner of Heaven yet?

D

#9 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 12:52 PM:

My Mormon name is Cherstine Quinnlee. That's so wrong.

#10 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 01:09 PM:

PiscusFiche, that's you and me and (I think) every other Mormon kid with the fiction-writing bent. IMO, it's the impetus for everything from the Alvin Maker stories and Plan 10 from Outer Space to Mark Hoffman's forgeries.

#11 ::: Carlos ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 02:11 PM:

Has anyone tried to splice the Book of Mormon and the Qur'an yet? It strikes me that many of the events they recount were contemporaneous.

#12 ::: mattH ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 02:45 PM:

Syncretism at it's best. Thanks for the link.

#13 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 02:48 PM:

Deeply odd. My name comes out to Kaiden Chipper Tatton. I wonder how they arrived at that.

#14 ::: Holly Messinger ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 02:54 PM:

I'm Christmas Holiday Blessing Ream. Which is surprisingly apt. They even got the 'ream' part right. I wonder how they knew I came from a family of printers?

#15 ::: Robert Tomshany ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 03:13 PM:

I was wondering how the name generator would handle "Tomshany," a Hungarian name whose spelling and pronunciation got seriously modified when its bearer (my great-grandfather) came to the U.S.A. So I turned out as "Calbert Folkman," which makes me wonder whether the generator confused me with my dad, an amateur folksinger who is ALSO "Robert Tomshany". (He's Robert A., I'm Robert B., and most people who know him call him "Tom" anyway.)

#16 ::: Keith ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 03:28 PM:

My Mormon name is Veithe Friends Forsaken. That's kind of depressing, actually.

My wife got a cool one though: Alvira Pawnece America.

#17 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 03:31 PM:

"Young Elizabeth Mischelle" is apparently my Mo'monized name.

I'm really disappointed.


It's really just like my actual name. But not.

#18 ::: Toni ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 03:50 PM:

: Tonilee Celestial Dawn. Kinda cool, actually.

#19 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 03:56 PM:

St. Benjamin JoLayne at your service!

After work, I'm heading to Fred Meyer and picking up some thermal long johns and colored felt and make me some snappy churchly undervestments.

#20 ::: LNHammer ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 04:08 PM:

Larry becomes Garridy, Laurence becomes Parkence (as does Lawrence), Lars becomes Larsen, Loren becomes Corren. As male names, that is—as a female, those are LauraMaery, Lauradene (LaFrance), Laertis, and Loreiene. An interestingly robust transformation engine in there.

Laertis sounds like a minor character from the Aeneid, or a Sabine nymph.

---G.

#21 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 05:19 PM:

I'm pretty certain Laertes is the uncle in Hamlet.

That's not quite the same as Laertis.

#22 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 05:33 PM:

Ophelia's brother, I thought. The guy with the poison sword in the climactic duel.

#23 ::: Elizabeth ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 05:45 PM:

Well. I guess it could be worse.

I'm
Young Elizabeth Miracles Precious One

Which is kind of a big handle. Can you imagine trying to call me in to supper? Two hours later....My real name actually means, The Oath Of God, Bitter, the Terrible, so at least it's perkier.

#24 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 06:00 PM:

Well, phooey. Mary Kay Kare gets Mormonized as MarKay Kaare. What good is that?

MKK

#25 ::: Jeremy Leader ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 06:12 PM:

Mary Kay, isn't it a relief to know you're practically immune to mormonization?

I have the misfortune of becoming "Jerem LeeMaster". I'm not
sure if I prefer my "Crappy Little Elf Name", "Juniper Merryweather" (from http://rumandmonkey.com/widgets/toys/elf/index.php on the same site).

However, poking around the site some more, I found an author bio which consists solely of a recipe for home-made Kahlua:

http://rumandmonkey.com/articles/bio.php?authorid=1

How's that for neatly tying together several recent nielsenhayden.com threads?

#26 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 07:50 PM:

Caudell Mirance -- hmm, I think I will file that for future use . . .

#27 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 08:03 PM:

This is merely depressing.

"Stockton Malone Cordell."

I sound like either three towns in California, or a greedy land baron in a Zane Grey Western.

That's not so bad, I guess.

Of course, the Elf Name Generator produced "Oakhand Horsebeard," which actually sounds like a Dwarf in stacked heels and Spock makeup who's trying to pass.

#28 ::: Louise Ainwight ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 08:39 PM:

I got MyrLouise Dwightel.

I know you don't know me, but how's that for an odd prefix?

#29 ::: Berni Phillips Bratman ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 09:00 PM:

As a Mormon, I'm Berneil LaPhyllis (or Annadette LaPhyllis if I use Bernadette).

As an elf, I'm John M. Ford's sister: Brookbank Horsebeard. I feel ready for some oats and hay now.

#30 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 09:27 PM:

I'm not sure Marehand Fairtoe (elf name) is much of an improvement

MKK

#31 ::: Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 09:40 PM:

Calbert DaLeal -- I like it!

#32 ::: Keith ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 10:07 PM:

Pelthound Horsebeard

That's my name, don't wear it out!

#33 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 10:43 PM:

The Hobbit name of my Mormon name is Olo Hamwich of Buckleberry Fern.

It has a certain je ne sais quoi, n'pas?.


(On the other hand, the Mormon name of my Pirate name is Iron Rod Glint.)

#34 ::: Scott ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 11:38 PM:

I don't know which of these I like better:

Mormon: Mick BonScott Jordan River [practically oozes je nais sais quoi, that or sauve qui peut]

Hobbit: Lotho Loamsdown [an earthy name if ever I heard one]

Elvish: Glorfindel Ancaledmon [probably to be found somewhere in the Silmarillion or the Book of Lost Tales]


#35 ::: Derryl Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2003, 11:38 PM:

I'm Jerryl Burthel. And John, "Stockton Malone Cordell" means your parents would have been Utah Jazz fans.

D

#36 ::: Elise Matthesen ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2003, 12:56 AM:

My favorite name from the Mormon name generator comes from my growing-up name, which yields Loa Ann J'Kresder.

My Elf name is Elfis Merryweather, if I use the name I have now. My growing-up name turns into Oakhand Horsebeard. Does that mean I'm Mike?

#37 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2003, 01:10 AM:

I was tagged "Jolly Hairtoe", which I expect would go over well for the entertainment at one of those 'special' hobbit parties.

#38 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2003, 02:31 AM:

Luthien on a pony, it looks like a Horsebeard family reunion. My count is four, but I may have missed one.

Though I do wish the Professor was handy to give us a derivation of "Horsebeard." I mean, either we're part of the crowd that used to fight alongside the Monarchists of Rohan, and there was some kind of odd quartering involved (as, Punctillio Ildefonse Spadebeard, do you take Mimsy Horseheimer . . .), or else we're all wearing fake chin whiskers made from sofa stuffing. The reasons for this are hazy, but it probably involves going into the West on a boat with Groucho.

Ah. Of course. As with so many new Americans, our monicker got mangled at Ellis Island.

#39 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2003, 11:17 AM:

I suppose Horsebeard could also be a botanical name, and only to do with horses and facial hair at one remove. I wonder what the properties of the plant would be?

#40 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2003, 11:22 AM:

Oh, and I'm Brookbank Forestwick, which, ghod help me, I might have considered USING when I wwas fourteen.

The Mormon name is Rickisha Stefinee, which is just too awful to contemplate.

#41 ::: Alan Bostick ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2003, 12:14 PM:

John M. Ford: You remember that the bad guys in Riders of the Purple Sage were Mormons, don't you?

#42 ::: Keith ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2003, 02:16 PM:

The folks at Ellis Island played a cruel joke on my ancestors, sticking us Kisser instead of the Russian original, Kaiser. Either that or it was a typo.

#43 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2003, 03:04 PM:

The villains in A Study in Scarlet were also Mormons.

#44 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2003, 02:09 AM:

My Mormon name is Lovie Angel Brandiese.

Gack!

Including my Catholic Confirmation name, however, makes it LaDonnaJosephrania Brandiese, which I find somewhat more tolerable, though perhaps too much of a muchness. (What's with the no-spaces runtogether first name/s?) Not that almost anything wouldn't be an improvement!

#45 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2003, 02:26 AM:

And my elf-name -- these definitely sound more like Hobbit names, though -- is Leafwind Faringdon. I kind of like that one.

The Mormon translation of that is Dearwin Brindalyn, and (deity-name here) help me, I've heard worse!

Actually, did anyone else notice that the "elf" names are unisex? The generator doesn't ask your "gender preference" as the Mormonizer page does. Dearwin is the female "translation" since I didn't change the radio button. So, when I realized that, I ran ol' Leafwind's name through the Mormonizer as a male and became LeGrand Carrington, who sounds like a character from the old TV series Dynasty.

Any of which are infinitely preferable to Lovie Angel. (Still gacking over that one.)

#46 ::: Yonmei ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2003, 05:08 AM:

An'Janae Charalla! I like it!

But getting back to the original topic of discussion, what (if anything) is the reaction of the CoLDS to this? (Hey - neat acronym. I never realised... There is no cure for CoLDS!)

#47 ::: Genesis ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2003, 03:34 PM:

Well, the Mormons let me keep my first name, but my last (Hansen) got quite a transformation - I'm Genesis Saunsceneyouray. When I added my middle name (Danielle), I became Celestial Dawn Saunsceneyouray.

And add another twig to the Horsebeard family tree - I'm Sheeplass Horsebeard. Does anyone else think I sound a little...confused?

#48 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2003, 08:44 PM:

I use my "common" name and it came out as "Christmas Holiday Celesta". If I try to use my "real" (given at baptism) name I end up as "Vyquetoriya Walkasheaqua Celesta".

Gack. It sounds like something out of the Conan novels.

#49 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2003, 09:26 PM:

No, it sounds like something out of the Utah Baby Namer, which I blogged on 09 April 2001, back in the pre-Movable Type days.

Mormons in the surrounding states wouldn't admit this in front of gentiles, but they think those people in Utah are a little strange.

#50 ::: Bob Webber ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2003, 11:44 PM:

I suspect that the Horsebeard clan probably have something in common with the Swedish bridegroom and yacht captain of recent Particular note.

#51 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2003, 10:34 AM:

The female names do seem to be pretty twee -- my first name becomes Fairlene. The (maiden) last name I usually go by online becomes a dull Marcille. But when I switched to my married name, it produced the exotic monicker "Fairlene Saunsceneyouray". I guess Welsh-origin words freak 'em out (appropriately enough, since Hanscom is supposed to mean "witches' hollow," I'm told).

#52 ::: Sylvia Li ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2003, 07:34 PM:

My results:

Mormon name: Sylvan Allora LaLovi
Which I think rolls off the tongue quite satisfyingly. I approve.

Elf: Shetland Nobblewit
Not sure how to take this one. Still the horse theme, I notice. Sounds more like a hobbit. (But if I add my middle name, I get "Leafwind Clouddash," which is appalling.)

My "Iraqi Leadership" name, I note, varies quite a bit depending on how long I want it to be. I could be:
Sultan al-Sadi
Sayf al-Jizrawi al-Naqib
Qusay al-Khafaji al-Faisal al-Rawi
Sayf Abd al-Karim Tilfah Abd al-Baqi

Of the name generators, I think the Mormon one must be the most sophisticated code.

#53 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2003, 11:21 PM:

It's got a big database to work from.

My Mormon name is Teresa Barbara Sophronia Nielsen Hayden.

#54 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2003, 12:03 AM:

Teresa, that's not from the generator, is it? You mean your REAL Mormon name, right?

And 'Sophronia' is a name I've heard only in a very sad (in several senses) Zenna Henderson story. I thought she made it up. But of course, just because something's made up doesn't mean it isn't true.

#55 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2003, 12:43 AM:

My Granny called me Sophronia, when she wasn't calling me Hepzibah or Psamanthe.

#56 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2003, 01:35 AM:

Sophronia is one of those old 19th century names that was apparently very popular at one time, but now sounds as quaint, even exotic, as Brittany (as a girl's name, at least) will sound in 150 or 200 years. I googled on it and found several genealogy sites listing ladies with that name, almost all of whom were born in the 1800s (1811 is the earliest I've noticed).

According to the list of names and their meanings in my old 1960s edition of the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, it comes from Greek and means "sensible."

It's also a genus of butterflies.

Sensible butterflies, I imagine.

#57 ::: Anne ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2003, 11:02 AM:

Xopher, Robin McKinley also named one of her characters "Sophronia," in _Spindle's End_. It was pretty clearly a reference to the Henderson story.

#58 ::: Stefanie Murray ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2003, 02:18 PM:

And IIRC Sophronia (or rather Siffronia) is the name of one of Nina Simone's "Four Women."

#59 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2003, 02:29 PM:

Well shet mah mouth. Shoulda known ZH wouldn't have made it up. And she was in the southwestern US, too.

Teresa, one of my great-aunts was named Ruth, but her mother generally called her "Nita Babe Oh, the Devil! Ruth," if family legend is to be believed. Her two older sisters were named Anita and Babe, you see.

Lois, sensible butterflies? There's something Very Wrong with that concept.

#60 ::: LNHammer ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2003, 06:16 PM:

Heh. My wife's grandmother was notorious for working through the names of her grandchildren in age order until she got to the right one. Which meant the youngest had very long names.

---L.

#61 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2003, 06:33 PM:

My father did one better -- he just picked one of our four names and expected the one he wanted to answer to it.... Actually, he did use the right name more often than random chance would dictate; it was common that he'd use a different one, and it wasn't consistent.

There were string-of-names stories in my mother's family -- seems to be commoner in large families (my father had one sister, no brothers).

Cheers,
Tom W.

#62 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2003, 03:01 AM:

Getting back to the original subject, Yonmei, I don't believe the CoLDS has officially had a reaction to this development, but I'm sure that in private it absolutely gives them hives.

I like CoLDS as an abbreviation. It goes well with FARMS, the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies: an organization of shameless intellectual prostitutes whose specialty is coming up with New World justifications for all those Old World items the Book of Mormon so inconveniently identified as existing in the pre-Columbian Americas. Horses, for example; according to FARMS, we are to understand that in chapter 18 of the book of Alma, where it says that King Lamoni's chariot is drawn by horses, the animals they actually have in harness are tapirs.

Very wonderful to contemplate, FARMS.

All we need now is something that spells out COMFORT, and we're set.

Oh, and Kim? I'd say you got a gratifying amount of response to your link. Thanks, and welcome.

#63 ::: Kim ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2003, 10:19 AM:

I didn't mean to hijack your blog, really! I thought I remembered seeing you post about crazy Utah Mormon names and thought you'd get a kick out of it. :)

What are CoLDS and FLDS by the way? I know what LDS is, but I don't think I've seen CoLDS and FLDS before.

#64 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2003, 12:24 PM:

Church of Latter Day Saints (I am inferring) and Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints.

Terry K.

#65 ::: Jonathan Edelstein ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2003, 02:16 PM:

I knew that an African prophet would pick upon the Book of Mormon eventually. The LDS church has all the features of the other Christian denominations that have done well in Africa - missionary zeal, strong prophetic tradition, support for family and hierarchy, conservative social values, syncretic tendencies and a touch of the secret society. The expansion of the LDS church itself in Africa is probably still hampered by the legacy of its pre-1978 attitude toward black people, but I've considered the BoM to be African prophetic-church fodder from the first time I read it.

#66 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2003, 02:19 PM:

Then you are a smart fellow, and I'd like to hear any further observations you have to make on the subject, because it took me completely by surprise.

#67 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2003, 02:35 PM:

Hmm, so far all I get is Congres of Moderately Fragrant Oregon Roqefort Traders . . . needs work.

#68 ::: Anne ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2003, 03:11 PM:

How about Cliquish Old Men Flapping Owlishly Round Town?

#69 ::: Jonathan Edelstein ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2003, 03:38 PM:

You flatter me, Teresa.

In any event, I think that Melekin's reworking of the BoM fits comfortably within the family of AICs (an abbreviation variously used to mean "African Independent Churches," "African Initiated Churches" or "African Instituted Churches"). The AICs, which collectively have about 85 million followers, resulted from Africans' encounters with missionaries of marginal Protestant denominations. Each church has its own history, but they generally took less than a generation to slip out of the hands of their missionary founders and become syncretized. Some have come full circle and begun to establish a foothold in the United States due to African immigration.

There are three main categories of AICs: Ethiopian, prophetic and Zionist (the last of which gets its name from the Christian Catholic Church of Zion, Illinois rather than from political Zionism). The Zionist churches are the most syncretized, with many accepting polygamy; the Ethiopian churches differ from their missionary ancestors largely in local control rather than liturgy. (This is a very simplistic summary, but there's plenty of literature out there.)

As I said above, the CoLDS has many of the same features that enabled other marginal Protestant and Pentecostal sects to succeed in Africa. The CoLDS has also been involved in active missionary activity in Africa for about 25 years, which is about the right amount of time for Mormon-based AICs to develop. I'm guessing that Melekin's church will be the first of many, and that some will be far more radical, particularly in southern Africa where polygamy will be a factor. Within another 20 years, the African LDS offshoots might come full circle in the manner of AICs such as the Celestial Church of Christ, and set up shop in the United States. At that point, the people in Salt Lake City will have a dilemma on their hands.

#70 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2003, 05:48 PM:

I'm fascinated. I've never heard of any of those developments. Must find out more. Thank you, thank you.

Anne: How about Cliquish Old Men Fabricating Our Revealed Truth?

#71 ::: Anne ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2003, 05:56 PM:

Teresa, I bow to your superior wit.

#72 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2003, 09:49 PM:

No contest --

#73 ::: Jonathan Edelstein ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2003, 12:47 PM:

I've expanded somewhat on my blog, with links to sites that discuss AICs. Oh, and thank your husband for putting me back on his blogroll. :)

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